A group of 5 gang members have been found guilty of the murder of 21 year-old Andrew Jaipaul.
Jaipaul was walking home in June 2011 when he was attacked by a group of 20 youths and stabbed over twenty-five times with an array of kitchen knives and shards of glass.
Thomas McInerney, 21, Jojo Mafwa, 19, Tirrell Ball-Thomas, 18, Wesley Brooks, 18, and a 15 year-old boy* were found guilty of murder, conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and violent disorder. A sixth man, Warren Brooks, 23, was also convicted of conspiring to inflict grievous bodily harm. The jury failed to reach a conclusion on the involvement of a seventh man.
The jury took 22 hours to convict the men, having viewed CCTV and heard eye-witness accounts in evidence. Eye-witnesses described the gang, dressed in balaclavas and hoods, running into the estate, attacking Jaipaul and retreating, cheering and shouting “busy block”.
The prosecution suggested that a member of the “Busy Block” gang had been the victim of a stabbing earlier that day, and the attack on Jaipaul was a retribution attack. Jaipaul had nothing to do with the gang; the prosecutor stated that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The men are to be sentenced on Friday 28th June. We will review their sentences thereafter. Those found guilty of murder will receive sentences of detention for life if aged 18-20 at the time of the murder, or detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure if aged 17 or under. Sentences for Life Imprisonment are available only for offenders aged 21 of over.
*cannot be named for legal reasons, due to age.